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Friday, May 14, 2021

Live local, Love local, and how to make it

Tomorrow morning, I'll be on CBC Radio's Weekend Morning Show, with guest host, Marjorie Dowhos, to talk about our wonderful local products.

I'll be preparing a Mango Martini, with Get Cheeky Foods Mango chutney and Patent 5 Elettaria Gin, and two pizzas, with Old Church Bakery pizza dough.  The first is a Turkish pizza with blue cheese, Nature's Farm egg, and Fertile Farm microgreens.  The second pizza is with a Zinn Farm Berkshire Pork Tenderloin that I have marinated and BBQ'd, with hoisin and greens.

The farmers and producers that are vendors at St. Norberts Farmers Market come from over 30 communities across the province.  A couple of producers drive in over 3 1/2 hours for market day.  The economic and cultural reach of one market is more that just around the city of Winnipeg.

We are all lining up to go into stores.  This quick line up with vendors outside and under the canopy, is one line up for over 60 stores. 

Enjoy the recipes and thank you for supporting local.


Mango Martini

Juice of one orange (I used a blood orange)

1 -2 oz Patent 5 Elettaria Gin (or Patent 5 Vodka)

1/2 oz Disorrono

1-2 tsp Get Cheeky Mango Chutney

Zest of orange

Shake in martini shaker over ice, serve straight in a martini glass or with cold tonic water as a highball.

Koniya Turkish Pizza

Such a lovely and simple pizza to prepare.  It is simply blue cheese mixed with fresh herbs and an egg.  Here, I used a Nature's Farm egg, mixed with Buttermilk Blue Cheese, from DeLuca's, and herbs and microgreens from Fertile Farm.  The base is wonderful pizza dough, from Old Church Bakery.  

Berkshire Pork Tenderloin on fluffy flatbread

I used the same pizza dough, from Old Church Bakery, but I marinated Berkshire Pork Tenderloin from Zinn Farm, and grilled it with the 7-6-5 method.  I served it on the pizza, with a little hoisin sauce and greens.

 Marinade for Pork Tenderloin or Pork Belly

1 tablespoon oil
5 slices ginger
2 scallions (cut into 3-inch pieces)
3 star anise
1 cup shaoxing wine
1 cup light soy sauce
¾ cup dark soy sauce
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups water

Let the Pork Tenderloin marinate for several hours or overnight.  

On a hot BBQ, Place tenderloin and cook on medium heat for 7 minutes with the lid closed.  Turn, and cook for 6 minutes with the lid closed.  Turn the heat off and leave to rest, with the lid closed for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, let rest, and slice.  Marinating liquid can be cooked and thickened with a little corn starch and used as a sauce.



Monday, April 19, 2021

Fair Trade Month of Chocolate, etc. Dark Chocolate Layer Cake, or cupcakes.

 There are always reasons.  So many great reasons for choosing to make your food, using Fair Trade products, local, and ethically raised.  Imagine knowing that no child labour, or slaves were used, for you to enjoy the foods that you do.  

We are celebrating Fair Trade month in May.  I will be posting recipes and information about products throughout the month.  Here is the birthday cake to get started.  


 Look to MCIC for more information on Fair Trade as well as events.

Dark Chocolate Layer Cake

1 cup butter.  I use the wonderful, local Notre Dame butter.  I spoke with the owner and he assures me of the quality.  It is soft at room temperature.
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs.  I use Nature's Farm for a few reasons.  They are excellent, local and I need to use a commercial egg for my products.  If you have access to farm fresh eggs, use them.
1 tsp vanilla.  I make vanilla with beans that I got from Kerala, South India.  Vanilla is very expensive because it is quite labour intensive.  I visited a fair trade spice plantation and purchased the beans directly.  I soak them in bourbon for a while.
2 cups flour.  I use Prairie Mills Flour, again, for a few reasons.  It is always an excellent product, local, and a great price.  After NAFTA, we have been losing local mills to large corporations. 
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder.  I use more like a cup, for this recipe, as well as additional buttermilk.  I use a Fair Trade dark cocoa by Callebaut.  It is available at DeLuca's. 
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup buttermilk +  I made kefir with Stoney Brook Creamery.  They are located in Steinbach and produce amazing organic dairy products.  They are also available at the St. Norberts Farmers Market.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy and well incorporated.  Add eggs, and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
Alternate mixing into the butter mixture with thirds of dry and buttermilk. 
Spoon into 2 greased and parchment paper-lined cake pans (9 inch)  Bake at 350ºF for 30 - 35 minutes, until tester comes out cleanly.  Let cool and remove from pans after 20 minutes.  Let cool completely.
Layer or frost as you wish.  Each cake can be cut into two layers.

I'll be preparing this recipe as cupcakes.  They bake for 15 - 17 minutes.

8 ounce dark chocolate callets, or chopped chocolate.  I used Callebaut Dark, which is Fair Trade.  It is available at DeLuca's, Sobey's Cash and Carry, and other locations.  Camino chocolate is also excellent.
1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream.

1. Heat cream on the stovetop until just simmering.  Do not boil, or it could separate.
2. Place chocolate callets (chips), or chopped chocolate into the saucepan and cover for 2 minutes. 
3. Whisk cream and chocolate until smooth and shiny.  Set aside and let cool until workable for spreading or dipping.  It can be whisked as a frosting texture as well.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Rose Harissa Baked Halibut with Beurre Blanc

 I had a beautiful piece of Halibut filet, from Gimli Fish, and I wanted to prepare something French Classical, easy, fusion-potential, and, did I already mention easy?  Beurre Blanc is, indeed, a very easy to prepare, Classic French sauce.  

I put my own Rose Harissa, thinly spread, onto the filet and set that aside in the fridge.  Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Beurre Blanc can also be served with asparagus, and other fish, such as salmon, steelhead trout, Arctic Char, etc.  Bake the filet, with adjustment for thickness, at 350ºF for 15 minutes.

I served this with Basmati Rice Pilaf, and creamy spinach.  

Beurre Blanc

1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper, or to taste
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces and chilled  ( I confess to using salted butter)
Options:  thyme, tarragon, or sorrel

Boil wine, vinegar, and shallot and optional herb in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until liquid is syrupy and reduced to 2 to 3 tablespoons, about 5 minutes.
Add cream, salt, and white pepper and boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium low and add a few tablespoons butter, whisking constantly. Add remaining butter a few pieces at a time, whisking constantly and adding new pieces before previous ones have completely liquefied (the sauce should maintain consistency of hollandaise), removing the saucepan from heat occasionally to cool mixture, so that it won't split.
Remove from heat, then season to taste with salt and pepper and pour sauce through a medium-mesh sieve into a saucepot pressing on and then discarding shallot and optional herbs. Serve immediately.  It can be made in advance, just gently reheat.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Butternut Squash Soufflé

Please note:   Soufflés are not as difficult or fussy as the movies depict.  In fact, you can prepare the mixture in advance for hours, prior to putting into the baking dish and baking.  It is a delicate product, but not scary.  I used amazing local products, such as, organic butternut squash, grown by Kelly Ditz, wonderful and consistent eggs, by Nature's Farm, Prairie Mills Flour, and Notre Dame butter.


Butternut Squash Soufflé

Preheat oven to 425º F

Part 1:
Make a Béchamel Sauce by combining the following with a small whisk over a double boiler or Bain Marie;

3 tbs. Butter
1/2 cup flour
Add a scant cup cold milk (3/4 cup)
and continue to whisk over the steam heat until thickened.
Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Part 2:

Sauté 1 chopped onion,
1 half roasted butternut squash
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Blend squash mixture to a smooth paste and set aside.

Part 3:

Add squash mixture to bechamel and whisk in. Then add 4 – 5 egg yolks from large eggs.
Fold in 4-5 egg whites, whisked to stiff peaks.

Use a buttered and floured soufflé mold or 6 smaller ramekins. Pour in the mixture and bake in the oven at 400ºF for 30 minutes (less time if using ramekins) without opening the door during cooking, until well-risen and a deep golden-brown on top.

Serve immediately. Enjoy with a light salad with a vinaigrette. Try with a chocolate fondue for dessert.


Sunday, March 14, 2021

Comfort food with easy and big flavours. Creamy tomato vodka spaghetti with Duq'qah shrimp and scallops

 What's for dinner?  What do I have on hand?  Spaghetti, cream, tomato paste, shrimp, scallops, etc.  

Put them together and what do you have? 

Creamy tomato Vodka Spaghetti, with Duq'qah shrimp and scallops

Spaghetti, for 2 +

1 tbs butter

drizzle olive oil

1 onion, sliced

1 cup cream

2 tbs good tomato paste, with 1/2 cup water (+/-)

1 tbs pesto

1/2 cup white wine or vodka, or combination

1/2  tsp white pepper

Options:  chopped spinach, sautéed mushrooms, etc.  

Shrimp and Scallops, for 2+

1 rounded teaspoon Duq'qah

salt, to tastes

Butter, for the scallops and shrimp

 Prepare the sauce by heating oil and butter in a saucepot and adding sliced onions.  When the onion is translucent and beginning to brown, add the cream, tomato paste with water, pesto, wine and/or vodka, and season.  

Time the cooking of the pasta with the finishing of the cooking of the seafood.  Toss the seafood with the Duq'qah and a pinch of salt.  Heat a pan with butter and cook, about 2-3 minutes per side, basting with the butter.  

Toss the spaghetti with the sauce, top with grated parmesan and top with the cooked seafood.  


Friday, January 22, 2021

Mussels! With Mushrooms, Beer, and Cheddar, with Sweet Potato oven Fries

Every once in a while, we feel like having mussels and fries.  We had mushrooms on hand, as well as cheddar, so, Mushrooms, Beer, and Cheddar Mussels.

1 lb PEI mussels, available at Gimli Fish
1-2 tsp butter (I use the local Notre Dame butter)
Drizzle olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
grated nutmeg 
white pepper, to tastes
salt, to tastes
1 onion, sliced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (crumbled blue cheese is also wonderful), mixed with 1/2 tsp corn starch and 1/2 tsp flour
1-2 cups beer (I used Farmery's Hoppy Beer)
1/2 cup cream, optional
1/2 cup chopped green onions, with whites
optional, chilies, cilantro

Scrub and clean off the mussels.  Only use closed mussels or ones that can close.

In a large enough pot for the mussels with a lid, cook the butter, mushrooms and onions until soft.  Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Add Beer and Cream  Slowly add the grated cheese, that has been tossed with corn starch and flour.  Bring to a simmer. 
Stir in the mussels and cover the lid.  Cook for a couple of minutes, until all of the mussels are open.  Transfer to a large bowl, pouring the sauce over the mussels.  Garnish with cilantro, or other greens, and serve immediately.  Wonderful with Sweet Potato fries.  For simplicity, they are also available at Gimli Fish.  I baked them and tossed them with a bit of smoked paprika. 

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Chocolate Soufflé for 2 or 3

 Chocolate Soufflé

On New Year's Eve, my daughter requested something special for breakfast.  As I was already doing 5 other things, sure! 

This recipe for chocolate soufflé is relatively easy to prepare, if you get everything ready first.  Nature's Farm egg whites whip up so wonderfully, this recipe makes 3 ramekin soufflés.

Chocolate Soufflé

1+ tbs melted butter, for brushing inside the ramekins and as an ingredient

2 tbs white sugar

2 ounces dark chocolate callets (chips, or broken pieces)

1 tbs flour

4 1/2 tbs milk

pinch salt

1 large egg yolk

2 large egg whites

pinch of cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Have a baking dish that fits 2-3 ramekins.

Brush the insides of the ramekins with melted butter, and then coat with white sugar, keeping the extra sugar poured off for the soufflés.

Place chocolate in a metal bowl over a water bath.  Do not let the bowl touch the water or come to a boil.  In a separate saucepan, use melted butter and whisk in flour.  Cook and stir until thickened and incorporated, for about a minute.  Transfer to the melted chocolate.  Add salt.  Add egg yolk and keep the bowl warm over the water bath.  

Whip egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar, until a soft peak, adding the sugar, 1/3 at a time.  

Mix almost half of the egg whites with the chocolate mixture.  Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.  Divide mixture into the ramekins.  Place in the baking dish and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the soufflés have risen.

Serve, and enjoy immediately.